Biden acknowledges Arab Americans’ pain over Gaza conflict

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday acknowledged the distress of Arab Americans caused by the Gaza conflict and U.S. support for Israel, amid growing frustration among Arabs, Muslims, and anti-war activists.

Arab and Muslim communities in the United States have pressed the Democratic president for a permanent ceasefire, an end to arms sales to Israel, and increased efforts to safeguard civilian lives as Gaza faces a humanitarian crisis.”

In reflecting on Arab American Heritage Month, we must also acknowledge the pain being felt in the Arab American community due to the war in Gaza,” Biden said, expressing devastation over the suffering.

However, the Washington Post reported just hours after Biden’s statement that his administration had approved billions of dollars in additional arms for Israel.

As the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, Israel saw the U.S. veto several United Nations resolutions for a ceasefire in Gaza, with the U.S. abstaining from a vote only in late March.

With proclamations beginning in 2021, April is observed as Arab American Heritage Month.

This year’s statement from the White House was notably lengthier, highlighting Biden’s comments on the Gaza situation.

Recent months have seen protests across U.S. cities, including New York and Los Angeles, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza.

Demonstrations have also disrupted Biden’s campaign events, emphasizing the potential impact on November’s election support.

Biden reiterated his commitment to enhancing humanitarian aid for Gaza, securing the release of hostages held by Hamas, and establishing an immediate ceasefire of at least six weeks.

Highlighting hate crimes against Arab Americans, Biden mentioned several violent incidents, including the fatal stabbing of 6-year-old Palestinian American Wadea Al-Fayoume in Illinois and shootings of Palestinian descent students in Vermont.

The conflict escalated on Oct. 7 when Hamas launched attacks on Israel, resulting in 1,200 fatalities according to Israel.

The counterassault on Hamas-controlled Gaza has led to over 32,000 deaths, as reported by Gaza’s health ministry, displacing nearly 2.3 million people and bringing the region to the brink of a humanitarian disaster.